wellnessModern technology, medicine and science are helping us to live healthier lives for a longer period of time.

By: Hindy Cortright for the BioFit Center and Sports & Health Magazine.
director@biofitprogram.com | Tel. 340-6288 • 340-6299 • Fax: 340-6235

According to the CDC the life expectancy for a male in 1960 was 68 years and for a female 75. Their current projected life expectancy for a male in 2015 is 77, for a female 81.* As time passes, humans are living longer leaving us with the challenge hat this longevity is enjoyed in good and functional health. As the human body ages it develops certain requirements to stay healthy.

Here are some tips for people in their 70’s to include in their daily lives to stay in shape.

  1. STAY HYDRATED. As we age our thirst mechanism weakens.  Most of the health risk conditions for people in their 70’s to 80’s is due to dehydration. It is important that people in this age group drink a lot of water throughout the day, even if they are not thirsty; this also helps to regulate the body temperature since it keeps certain endocrine system running smoothly.
  2. FRUIT AND VEGETABLES. Eat lots of vegetables of different colors because each color adds a different nutrient to your diet.  To preserve most of the vitamins and minerals in the veggies it is recommended that you eat them uncooked.  You could try steaming them to soften them and add some condiments to flavor them.  Fruit is a trickier proposition because at 70 processing sugars becomes a challenge.  I recommend that you only eat fruit in the morning to avoid a sugar spike at night. When eating fruits try to also include some type of nuts (almonds are best) or protein such as cheese or yogurt.  This combination helps to slow down the breakdown of the sugar in the system controlling the insulin spike most fruit produces in our body’s chemistry.
  3. EXERCISE. To stay physically and mentally healthy in this age group, you should be active walking, riding bikes, hiking, or other form of aerobic movement.  It is important to keep the oxygen levels high to allow the brain to stay healthy.  Although, exercise in your 70’s must be moderate therefore any type of exertion is not recommended. The motto at this age is “less is more”.
  4. PROTEIN. Eating at least 3 daily servings of protein a day is also important, since processing protein becomes more difficult as the body ages, most people in their 70’s tend to unconsciously cut down on their protein intake and increase their carbohydrate intake. The reason for this is physiological. The body, in its effort to recuperate and keep the brain protected, tends to signal the desire for sweets on carbohydrates. The end result of these “cravings” is a preference for sweets (ice cream or jello).  If we are aware of this phenomenon , we can make an effort to maintain a proper level of proteins in our daily diet.
  5. SOCIALLY ACTIVE. To enjoy good health at this age, it is necessary to keep a balance between physical and mental activities. As social animals we need to stay connected with other people; therefore, if possible, stay active in the community and at work.  Staying busy helps to keep the brain active and aware.  Falling into a lifestyle of complete leisure may affect the brain’s ability to function properly.

It is possible to enjoy good health all the way into our 90’s practicing the proper nutrition and fitness lifestyle; it is the only way to go.